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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 29, 2010 10:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I have tried to find the '77 groove , but the sound of the band is sterile and soulless to me . There is no place for me to hook into the music . The sameness of the sound that non-heads complain about w/ GD in general , I feel with '77 . The 2 Swing shows in February being the exception .
Yes , even May , Winterland , ect . I do like ( not love ) '76 and a few shows in '78 , but there is something about '77 that sets my jaw on edge .
Now you are always gonna have a few with no clue and that may be me , but was there something specific that makes '77 different ? (Outside of the Persian , and maybe I just answered my own question ? )

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

- Tight band
- Having fun
- Jerry still in good voice
- Donna starting to blend well
- Great boards
- A few legendary, well-circulated shows
- Peggy 0
- Supplication
- Dancin (I like it anyway)
- Half Step
- Comes a Time
- Killer versions of Estimated at almost every show
- Surprisingly great versions of classic songs like Stella
- Almost no "bad" shows

All that said, I find that I don't listen to 77 very often. Go figure.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

"Almost no 'bad' shows"

Another good point. While it is not in my top 2-3 preferred years, it is arguably the most consistent year the Grateful Dead ever had, and could only be seriously challenged in that regard by 1972 IMO. Other great years have their share of wipe-outs (my favorite year of 1970 has a couple or three real train wrecks), but there's no show I can think of from '77 where you listen for a while and go "Man, they really stunk up the joint that night!"

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 30, 2010 7:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

By playing it soooo safe and not taking any musical 'risks' to speak of, the chance of a train wreck is greatly reduced.

This post was modified by duckpond74 on 2010-10-30 14:08:05

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

As boring as the music from 1977 can be, the fact that the pool of everyone's favorite performances is so large/diverse, is another testament to the greatness of the year.

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Poster: wineland Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

A 76/77 Comes a Time can bring me to my knees.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

"Great boards"

Excellent point!

I think the near perfect sound quality and mixing of so many of these shows, that have circulated for so long (due in no small part to Betty Cantor), plays a large part in the fine reputation of this year.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I agree. With the easy universal access to these clean recordings, familiarity begets fondness.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I love the feirceness, crispness,tightness,loudness and perfectness of 77. It's not my favorite year but blows 78 and 79 away imo.

different strokes I guess

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Poster: drspark61 Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I feel the same way and figure I'm very much in the minority. Lord knows I've tried to like '77, asked for recommendations here, etc. The band seems fired up that year, I'll grant that, but otherwise everything from the nature of the jams to the sound of the sounboards leaves me cold. Thankfully there's plenty of other years and eras to mine. :-)

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Poster: hasher Date: Oct 29, 2010 1:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Mutron envelope filter.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

In spite of what dear grendel might think, I dont't loathe '77 Grateful Dead. I certainly do enjoy and appreciate the year's music a great deal more than that of 1978-1979 and beyond.

In my opinion, the extremely tight and laser focused nature of the playing and musicianship is indeed spectacular! And I am compelled to give the vintage an extremely high, if not perfect score.

That said, I still have to agree with your opinion. The performances, although extremely well played, are too formulaic and predictable. And I find the music rather boring due to the lack of any true extended free-form jamming.

I find that even my favorite performances from the year (New Haven, Ithaca, Buffalo, Chicago, Tuscaloosa, Pembroke Pines, Richmond, Englishtown, Colgate U. and Dekalb) rather difficult to stick with for longer than fifteen minutes or so. Sorry, but I think that 2/26 Swing Auditorium show might be the most overrated performance of all time ;)

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

You guys are killing me!! The Swing is great, although not for the reasons that it is famous for. I don't really care about the first Terp or Estimated but any show with that Eyes>Dancin' and what Phil does between them can't be over-rated. Great versions of H>S>F and Sugaree too. The show is great because it doesn't sound like May. Only way its over-rated is if you think its like Derek Jeter, great and over-rated!!!

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Well Jeter has lost a step and he only batted .270 this year ;)

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 29, 2010 1:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I actually agree on the overratedness of 2/26/77...never seemed to "get" why others love this show, despite--or perhaps it's b/c--of the debuts of so many songs--but that doesn't make them good--just novel.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

...nuthin?

[put me down as one that was there, but transitioned to "clueless" later in life...I think I am on record somewhere around here as having said I liked 75 and other yrs ahead of 77, back then, but overall have to agree with those that said it was "sweet" in the sense of soothing, lower intensity, background party music rather the sort that conveys an overwhelming sonic impact...TRUST me, I KNOW that puts me in the minority, BUT I guess I am agreeing that separate from the latter era bias, there is something you all detect about 77 in particular. I think Grendel has touched on this, and explains, in part, his love of fall, 78? Dunno]

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Poster: ducats Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

that's why I like 81 - there's still a HINT of everything positive that came before it - and you would've had to been Nostradamus to even catch a whiff of the stench that was to come

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Very articulately put. However, I think that statement applies more accurately to 1977...

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Poster: Daddy D Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Holy @#$% . . . I just thought it was a given that all dyed-in-the-wool deadheads loved '77. I mean, I realized that it wasn't everyone's favorite year, but to say that you "just don't get it" . . . mystifies me.

I got it, get it, & continue to get off on it!

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Poster: ducats Date: Oct 29, 2010 4:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

would'nt you agree that 81 had more of the improv (from the earlier years) than 77 - and more of the "canned" stuff (we grew to love) from 77, that the earlier years obviously didn't have?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 6:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I feel that '81 was the Dead's best overall year in the '80s; they certainly opened up the jams compared to 1980. (Though I'd nod to fall '83 as having my favorite individual '80s shows.)

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Poster: billydlions Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I didn't think you ventured in to the 80's LIA. 1981 has always been my favorite year of the Brent era and at one time was underrated. The lack of soundboards kept people from listening but now that more boards are available (or perhaps people realized the audience recording were very good) 1981 now gets its proper attention. I believe the high level of playing started in Aug 1980 and lasted through all of 1981. 1982 had its moments, especially the summer tour and as you mentioned fall of 1983 was well played with Jerry taking long solos on many songs. I see many of the early era guys have softened their tone on these shows. Next thing you know William Tell will be chiming in....

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I do listen to lots of '80s shows actually, I just don't talk about them. The excitement isn't there for me. They're more for 'background' than something I'll intensively get into.
Anyway, 1980 does have some gems; mainly very tight & focused though - '81 is when they started to let in some sprawl & get more freewheeling again like they were in '79.
'82 seemed like a very consistent year to me, many very smooth shows but not so many knockouts.
Don't know why there was that little Dead renaissance in Sep/Oct '83, other than my own personal preference for the longer jams.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 6:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I agree, to some extent. 1981 was an uptick in quality from 1980, exclusive of the acoustic music. There are a few excellent performances in 1981, and some quasi improvisation. Still, there are very few performances after 10/27/79 that are on that level. And very little after 1977 as fine...

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Oct 29, 2010 3:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

not my favorite year, but it is a classic dead year...the band managed to be so damn consistent for one year...I do not listen to 77 that often, I'm probably in the early 80s more often, but the best shows of the year are killer and deserve mention in anybody's best of lists...

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Poster: hasher Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

2/27!
3/19
3/20
5/05
5/09!
5/22!
5/25
5/26
5/28
6/04!
6/09
9/03
11/02
11/04!
12/29!!!

Just to name a few shows.
Spectacular!

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Poster: Tidewater four ten O nine Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

yep, the two drummers seemingly duplicating each others' strokes (in a rather plodding, monotonous style) as opposed to complementing each other (playing against each other) like on St. Stephen, The Eleven, etc., on "live/Dead" (that sucked me into this trip) just drives me up the wall.

That said, the mid-song instrumental breaks during FOTD (as opposed to the slowed0down version of the song itself) go a long way to taking the pain away.

For 'life' and vitality, '71 is where it's at .......

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 29, 2010 1:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I can't get into the myriad details right now of why '77 rules...but if you want a show that's decidedly not "sterile" from that year, try today's TDIH.....but also 4/23/77 and tell me that show isn't like a lightning bolt!!!

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Hmmm... trying hard to understand or feel your predicament even though I can't really share it. For me, there's a lot to like about 1977. I'll try to put some of what might 'set your jaw on edge' about 1977:

1.) They were really polished and confident, knew how to hit their marks, so to speak. Some of the rawness and loose feeling is gone, and with it the feeling of being "on the edge" - it's not as dangerous anymore. 2.) Keith and Donna seem a little more prominent sometimes, and Keith's playing is getting more repetitive, and less interesting as time goes by. 3.) This relates to #1 - some of the tempos have gone way slow on old standby songs - FOTD, St. Stephen, TLEO etc are slowed to about 2/3 their initial tempo, many other songs as well. Not as exciting. 4.) and those cowboy tunes are showing their age - somehow El Paso and MAMU don't fit in nearly as well.

Dunno - do any of those hit near the mark?

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Oct 30, 2010 8:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Boy, did you open up the floodgates ! I am surprised that you and many others dislike 77 so much . I am one of those that love it , but I see the validity of all the comments , and find them interesting . I might say it is an "overrated" year, but only in comparison to the earlier glories , and I certainly prefer it to the 80's and 90's shows , but I find much to love in them also ( been surprised how good 81 is !).

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

You're not alone. '77 is a snooze.
Like you, I just can't 'hook on' to the band's bright copper sound and plodding style in that year - a lot of it's like slow dance music to nod off to. ('77's also the year where the Dead mainly dropped full-band improvs in favor of Jerry solos - some May sets they'd even stop playing & let him solo off all by himself.)
But - and it's an important 'but' - Jerry's still ablaze. Many songs will roll slickly along as usual, and then in the solo he'll suddenly go KABOOM. So it's kind of like the JGB terrain where the band's not too interesting but Jerry's striking sparks & weaving his usual hypnotic spells. I could listen to those May '77 Sugarees endlessly.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I am beginning to agree with you regarding a peak in '69 and the long slow decline , with fewer and fewer great shows , before the end .
I generally like '70 , and it has my honey smack dab in the middle .
http://www.archive.org/details/gd_nrps70-06-24.aud.pcrp5.23062.sbeok.flacf ( a few points for tenacity ?)
'71 is hit or miss . '72 -'74 just give me the jams please . Most of the songs , eh . I love the little that is '75 . But after that ....

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 8:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I don't think I said their peak was in '69? I see it more as a few different peaks over the first 10 years. The band had a great ability to reinvent themselves, up to a point.

When I said they started to decline in some ways in '69 - I wasn't thinking of "fewer great shows" (if anything, they became more consistent over the years) - it's more about my own taste of what I want to listen to, versus my reading of what the band wanted to do.
Feb '69 was absolutely a peak - different in style than, say, summer '67 or Feb '68, but sort of the culmination of that hardcore-nonstop-jamming approach. For the rest of '69, they added tons of songs & changed almost their entire setlist & approach, so there was a bit of a slump in later '69 as they 'changed skins' - but by '70 they emerged as a more diverse group, harder-rocking at times, easy-listening at others, scary-psych when they felt like it.
I see it as a kind of split between 'country' Dead and 'psychedelic' Dead, with the two sides somewhat in conflict over the next few years. The band was excited by this divergence and their ability to juggle styles - they were now "everyman's Dead", winning many new fans, Skullfuck much more popular than Live/Dead was - but since I'm firmly in the jam camp, I'm not so excited by it.

Something like 5/2/70, with raving energy and one long rocking jam after another, is what I'm thinking of when I call the '73-era Dead a decline. Opening a show with an hour or so of country tunes & boogies before doing a single jam just isn't quite the same as one of those '69 shows where they thought nothing of opening up with a Dark Star medley - and losing Pigpen left a big hole they could never fill. (Much of their jam repertoire was actually his songs, a point often overlooked.)

But as I tried to say in the other thread, a decline in one department was matched by big gains in other areas. I like the high-energy stuff, but this isn't Led Zeppelin after all. The Keith-era jams, when they did them, became much deeper & more thoughtful, the playing more precise & fluent - more jazzy explorations than 'acid rock'. You can't get much less energetic or rockin' than the 12/6/73 Dark Star for instance, but to me it's one of the Dead's highest peaks. Different than a '69 peak, wiser & sleepier perhaps, but just as great.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 30, 2010 9:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I think I am moving into a musical place w/ GD where I just want the jams . I like the punk/blues psychedelic hydra of '67 -'69 and the wonderfully intricate jams of the early KG years .
I can still listen to a little of any year ( I got 3 songs of '77 in yesterday , courtesy of grendel ). However , I looked at my times listened to this year ( as far as songs ) and it skewed heavily in '68 , '69 , '70 .
Happily 30 years brings a lot of choices for everyone . And it is cool that there is passion for almost all of those years . Otherwise it would be really boring if there was general consensus on one year .

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Oh no!!! Gosh, Micah, just cuz your name came up as a possible New PM, do you have to go over fully to the All Sixties All The time camp?!?

Long slow decline indeed. I see it more like a banquet. Sometimes you feel like desert, sometimes you feel like the main meat course (or maybe you don't like meat and others do), sometimes you're in the mood for a salad. And sometimes it's burnt or just doesn't gel.

I won't carry the analogy on to absurdity (is '77 a desert cuz it's sweet or a filet mignon cuz everyone is supposed to like it?) but I just don't see the music as a straightforward peak-and-decline.

Interesting thread, though; I thought it was just me that didn't listen to as much '77, LOL! I have my favorites, but tend not to, um, put as much on my plate or sample as much. So I'm enjoying reading other folks' insights into why '77 has its rep.

I'd add something else, too. Who are "most Deadheads"? Well, most of us didn't actually hear the Dead live when they sounded the way they did in the 60s, or even in the looser, jammier, wilder early 70s. Most of us, whatever our age, DID hear a Dead that sorta sounded like '77. So it's the Dead We All Knew, iconic, with most of the songs we all came to love, none of the divisive Brent, no acquired-taste Pigpen ... in tight, sweet, crisp, reliable form. Not too fast and not too slow. With lots of good Jerry, a palatable Donna, no synth tricks, no bay-EEEE-beee, nary a train wreck in sight ...

Everyone may not LOVE LOVE LOVE it, but who the heck cringes at it? It's a common meeting ground.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Oct 30, 2010 4:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Good summary as usual Althea ....

I can't figure out why so many people seem to object to that "Bay-beeeeee" though .....

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 30, 2010 10:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I love the 'Bay-beeeeee' ! ( hope I got enough e's in )

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 30, 2010 12:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I think I've seen that argument about '77 before - it's got lots of the 'classic' songs done well, there isn't much to actively dislike, the playing's smooth & consistent, Jerry's in "rock star" guitar mode....in other words, lowest-common-denominator Dead! Where early fans meet late fans and shake hands!
Though thumpingly bland much of the time, I admit it is highly listenable... It's a year that got popular fast thanks to the high-quality SBDs and easy-to-take music, without some of the problems that assail other years. (Like, the '80s. Which is when '77 soared to the top of the popularity heap among collectors, I think...)
I'm not sure if I would've been hooked from the start by a '77 show, but I can see how enticing it is for others who might not like those wandering half-hour Dark Stars or noisy drums>spaces and want more 'familiar' music.
I'd also guess '77 would sound very different (and more appealing) if you first heard it coming after a diet of '80s/90s Dead shows, than if you'd imprinted yourself on early-era shows first.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 30, 2010 1:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

And here I thought I'd thought of it myself :-)

Oh, and another thing ... all those St Stephens. So you get the iconic later sound, but tight and sweet and reliable, with the added bonus of St Stephen. Another reason for the popularity, perhaps? (Along with everything else mentioned. And another way that it can be, well, LCD Dead. Cuz it's the iconic later sound, but you still have old Stephen coming around for those of us who also love or imprinted on earlier stuff ...)



This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-10-30 08:27:25

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 30, 2010 1:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Eric Wybenga has a good commentary on 1977 in his book Dead to the Core, if you've seen that; he makes some similar points, and describes the music well.

By the way, I'm not so sure about '77 resembling the Dead's "later iconic sound". When I think of their later sound, I think of cracking aged voices, over-metallic guitars, loud tinkly synth on top of everything... '77 sounds downright acoustic in comparison!

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 30, 2010 10:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I recommend Dead to the Core highly . Great book .

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Core-Almanack-Grateful/dp/0385316836/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&;ie=UTF8&qid=1288458661&sr=1-1

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 30, 2010 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

By "later iconic sound" I don't mean "later sound." I mean that the Dead Sound sort of separates (roughly) into general types ... 60s, jazzy / jammy early 70s, and then, more or less, the sound (and rough type of show) that they kept until the end.

Obviously I don't mean that they LITERALLY kept the same exact, precise sound until the end. Of course, '77 doesn't sound "a bit" like '81 or '85 or '92 to the teensy number of folks who pay close attention (any more than, in my opinion, a fashion plate from 1861 could be confused with one from 1865. Yeah, I know, I'm weird in a lot of ways :-) )

But if you take a show from the '90s, you can recognize it as a more midified, cracking-voiced version of a kind of iconic or platonic ideal of a show from the late '70s. That's still The Mold, if you will. Whereas it would be hard to say that they were following a '69 or '72 Mold all the way through.

That's what I mean. That it's a kind of super-high-quality, iconic version of what was being done throughout their later years. Not that the sound was the same, but that the '77 Mold is recognizable and familiar to wide numbers of folks, often from personal experience, in a way that, say, '71 isn't necessarily as comfy and familiar.

Haven't seen that book, btw ... thanks for the reference!

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-10-30 13:41:00

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I wouldn't go so far as sterile and soulless, but when you've been listening to earlier stuff, '77 seems a little ... sweet.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Oct 29, 2010 5:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Sugaree

19770507_0937.jpg

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I find '77 to be fairly sterile as well. Give me the rawness of fall '79 over '77 anyday.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

They play Estimated Prophet every freaking night?

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

"They play Estimated Prophet every freaking night?"

Well, almost, 51 out of 60 nights.

They also played Samson & Delilah 35 nights.

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Poster: Dead Surfer Date: Oct 29, 2010 2:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I agree with snow and rain....5-9-77 has been one of my favorites to listen to....

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Oct 29, 2010 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

micah,

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-06-04.fob.menke.motb-0096.97183.flac16

Check this show out. My favorite of the year, and I think it conveys what I like most about it - at the best of times, the whole band is contributing, and Jerry's solos became more fluid and inventive than ever before. His playing gets mellower and maybe less intense (nothing compares to a 68-70 eleven or other one) but he undoubtedly (at least in my mind) became a better, more mature guitar player. The franklin's tower here is a perfect demonstration of this.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Oct 29, 2010 10:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

when i first started getting into the dead, '77 was my favorite year because of a lot of the pros mentioned here - the precise, fluid playing, great sound, etc. being a 'new' head, it was a lot easier to get my foot in the door with one of these shows than say, something as esoteric as 6/14/68!

but over the years i've come to realize that perfection doesn't always equal greatness. some shows in '67-'70 were an absolute mess, and the band were hardly what anyone would call perfect. But, as LiA mentioned there were many great peaks that, for me, pretty much define the band's music in terms of what i listen to the most now.

and i agree you, micah, about how even '72-'74 can get stale with all the 'first set' kind of tunes not having much variation in their treatment from night to night. how many MAMU's and LLR's have YOU skipped?! half the time with these shows i'll just cherry pick a sweet jam like 8/27/72 Bird Song or 7/19/74 WRS>Spanish>Eyes and just roll with it. Don't get me wrong though, the stunning jam power of '72-'74 sets those shows way above even most of the early years for me.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

You mean you skip 72-74 MAMUs? Later ones, OK, but 72-74? Shame shame :-)

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Oct 30, 2010 12:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

haha, yes shame on me. but really that song in any year is skip-able to me. and with the dozens of boards i have from those years, its especially tiring. of course there are exceptions. and still not as bad as Mexicali Blues tho ;)

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2010-10-30 07:35:28

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2010-10-30 07:41:31

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 30, 2010 1:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

I don't think Mexicali Blues ever really had a "height" or a time when it was super-amazing. I like it OK (can take it or skip it, depending on my mood), but it's also really the only Dead song whose lyrics I have a problem with. A girl who's just 14? Um, yeah, I know Lolita had been seen as an avant-garde book just a few years earlier, and I know it's a character speaking and you can analyze it as showing the depths of his decline, yada yada, but still .....

For some reason I don't mind Jack Straw's women-sharing party before he cuts down his buddy, or Loose Lucy and her oh-so-60s delightfulness, but a 14-year-old girl is not so easy to take. Not that I'd skip it for that reason, LOL. If it were as good as an early-ish MAMU, for instance, I wouldn't :-)

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-10-30 08:50:18

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 30, 2010 2:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

They grow old fast in Mexicali...

Anyway, this could be the same chick Felina who was in El Paso. Didn't say how old she was there, just called her a "young maiden"...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 30, 2010 12:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

MAMU was well into its decline by '72-74! It was way better in the earlier years! ;)

(LLR, I admit, I skip every time. There's nothing Jerry can play that'll redeem that one....)

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 30, 2010 12:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

Boy, you have a more discriminating palate than me! I guess if I had to pick, I'd go with 70-71; just feels more, well, dangerous. But "well into decline"? To me it still has an awful lot of drive and energy.

LLR, well ... I can enjoy those ... I only skip them about half the time :-)

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Is So Spectacular About '77?

and i'm not trying to say either that '77 is no good or 'uncool' or anything - i actually still consider it one of my favorite years - all i mean is once i started discovering other things that suited my tastes better, the game changed a little for me...